The Aviva share price (LON: AV) (AV.L) has risen from 326p at the start of 2021 to reach its current level of 396p. That’s a 21% rise.
Over the past year it has risen by around 88%, which is higher than the FTSE 100 index’s (INDEXFTSE: UKX) 34% gain in the same time period.
In terms of the latest director deals in the company’s shares, there have been two transactions in the past couple of months. Senior Independent Director Patrick Flynn purchased 10,000 shares in the company on 5 March 2021 for a total consideration of £38,790.
On 16 March 2021, Independent Non-Executive Director Jim McConville bought 12,667 Aviva shares for a total consideration of just under £50,000.
Latest Aviva share price news
The latest investor news release from Aviva was on 4 March 2021 when the company reported its preliminary results for the 2020 financial year. They showed an operating profit of £3,161 million versus a figure of £3,184 million for the previous year. The firm’s core business unit operating profit of £2,492 million was also slightly lower than the previous year’s figure of £2,558 million.
The company’s results confirmed the sale of its operations in Italy and France. It believes that this will significantly strengthen its capital and liquidity. The sales follow similar exits from countries including Turkey, Indonesia and Singapore. Asset sales form a key part of the company’s revised strategy under its recently appointed CEO, with Aviva stating that it is seeking to focus resources in regions where it believes it has a competitive advantage over sector peers.
Looking ahead, the company stated that it expects to reduce debt by £1.7 billion in the first half of the 2021 financial year. It plans to invest for cash generative growth in its core markets, while it expects to return excess capital above a 180% Solvency II shareholder coverage ratio. It also stated it will be the first major insurer globally to target net zero emissions by 2040.
In terms of Aviva’s share price forecasts, consensus analyst estimates currently expect the firm to deliver a 1% rise in earnings per share in the 2021 financial year. They anticipate that it will go on to produce 3.5% net profit growth in 2022. Using analyst’s 2021 forecasts, as well as the company’s current share price of 396p, it has a forward price-earnings ratio of 7.4.
Meanwhile, analysts currently expect Aviva’s dividend per share to be 22.8p this year. Using this forecast puts the stock on a forward dividend yield of 5.8%. The company’s next investor event is its AGM on 6 May 2021. It is due to be followed by an operating update that is scheduled to be released on 27 May 2021.